Great Britain
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Campaign to help young people overcome controlling behaviour

​A campaign has been launched today (Thursday, 2 December) with the message: ‘Before you see red, talk to someone instead.’

The campaign will include targeted adverts on social media, aimed at highlighting the support that is available to young people to help them manage and address behaviours that are hurting people they love.

The campaign has been developed by West Yorkshire Police, Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller said:“A lot of people – including victims and perpetrators – won’t think of a teenager lashing out at their parent or grandparent as domestic abuse, but it can be.

“We know that this kind of offending is significantly under-reported as, understandably, people can be reluctant to report their young family members to the police. 

“We, as the police, also do not want to be unnecessarily criminalising children and teenagers. What is clear though is that without help to address the underlying causes of violent and controlling behaviour, it often continues into adulthood.

“This campaign is very much about encouraging young people who are concerned about their behaviour to seek support now.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe said:

“We want to support young people and their families, giving them the confidence to come forward and seek specialist help.

“It can be a particularly difficult conversation to have, especially among those we unconditionally love, but we must name it and work together to protect our young people. 

“Prevention is always better than cure, and we hope this joint campaign will shine a light on this hidden issue, opening up the right channels for families to get the help they need.”

Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership, Independent Safeguarding Chair, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, said:

“Adolescent to parent abuse has a serious impact on parents, young people and wider families too and the consequences for all are devastating.  I am a parent and I can only imagine this to be one of the most isolating and frightening situations. 

“The parental instinct to love and support your child whilst being abused is one of the most conflicting and challenging situations. As for the child, there could be underlying emotional and mental health issues. It is important to keep in mind that no child wants to behave in this way and frighten the people they love, and it is important for both families and adolescents to know there is support available. 

“There is no shame in seeking help to address this abuse, as it will not only help you, but also the people closest to you and importantly future generations too.”

There are a number of local and national organisations who can provide help and advice to young people.

Anyone concerned about their or someone else’s behaviour should visit: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/TalkToSomeone for more information and contact details for support available in their area.